'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC

Referendum or Referenda in Scotland?

Scottish Independence! Those two words produce a feeling that is as decisive as it is unifying. It also produces exuberance and a fervour about Scotland’s future which is scarcely witnessed elsewhere. Therefore, with these emotions now stirred, it’s no surprise that the question of independence was not ultimately decided on that historic day last September.
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Scotland & Spain / Crossed Flags

From Spain with Love: Referendum reflections

One of the things I struggle to rationalise to political friends and frenemies back home is how I’ve become even more interested in Scottish politics despite having left for Spain. I adore politics, but I’m reminded of Gore Vidal saying, ‘he liked politics too much to get involved in it.’
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Alastair Stewart / CC

‘We in Spain’: Thoughts on the Scottish referendum

I left the UK on the 1st of Spain and I’d registered to have a postal vote. I was streaming the UK news daily. What I didn’t quite anticipate for was – despite the posturing of the Spanish prime minister – that the issue was as lively a news topic as it was at home. For days before everyone knew what Scotland might do and what the issues were. Few people in this southerly resort could name the campaign leaders, but they could certainly talk about the economic and social pros and cons with aplomb. (Read More)

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis / CC
History & Philosophy

Liberty’s Exiles: Unionists in an independent Scotland

Funny thing: I drafted the below article when sitting at 6am in a airport waiting to move to Spain. It was one of several. To borrow from Clint Eastwood’s ‘Dirty Harry’, in all that excitement, I kind of lost track and forgot all about it. Unearthed, here it is. Maybe it will be relevant again if there’s another Scottish Referendum. In which case ignore this preamble.

AS (Read More)

'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC

A golden age for Scottish politics

This is a golden age for Scottish politics. No, don’t close this page and go back to Twitter just yet. It really is. The referendum was an extraordinary democratic event, which engaged — and expanded — the electorate like never before, and we’re still feeling some of that being reflected in the way that the General Election is being approached. Many of the campaign groups that emerged to fight the referendum have turned their attention to this new battle, and new groups specific to the election — not least those interested in grassroots tactical voting — are starting to come to the fore. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Edinburgh Festival

Politics, Distraction and the Digital Inferno

Every year for the past eight years I’ve spent August at the Edinburgh Fringe, seeing shows and writing a few reviews. As founder and editor of FringeReview I have had the opportunity to observe at first hand the changing nature of marketing at the Fringe. Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is still packed each day with thousands of hopeful artists handing out paper leaflets – the famous ‘flyers’ – in the hope of gaining an audience for their production.

In parallel, the rise of social media has led to Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, Linkedin groups to name but the most famous (or infamous) ones. (Read More)

Art: Churchill by Paul Don Smith / Hanbury Street. England / Picture: Sara Kelly

Churchill won’t be British after a ‘yes’ vote

Whether it be the Queen or the BBC, Yes Scotland have attempted to present unassailable guarantees that with independence the sun will still rise, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who will still be on TV, and a ‘social union’ with our ‘closest friends’ will operate across the British Isles. But will it really endure? (Read More)